Another whopper Spanish, plus other stuff. 24Mar16

TR by sunshiner

Wind: Light southerly
Swell: 1.6m easterly
Water temp: 28.3°C
Tides: Low 02:22am (0.43m); High 08:30am (1.85m)
Current: n/a
Launch point: Middle Groyne
Surface action: occasional bustups, east of Jew Shoal
Participants: tunny, weeksie, sunshiner
My trip distance: 12.5km
Redmap: No sightings provided
Keen Angler Program: At least one snapper frame today.

At last the wind's dropping. MetEye was in slight disagreement with Seabreeze yesterday, showing winds lighter than 10 knots up to 10am. Tunny was the first to spot the opportunity and emailed his intention to go today, before the Easter rush. Only weeksie and I put our hands up to go too, but pedro had group-emailed the info that he'd done pretty well at Jew Shoal on Wednesday.

At 4:00am the wind was certainly down, but I could hear rain pattering on the roof. At 5:00am the three of us were in the Middle Groyne carpark and by about 5:15am we were on the beach, where the swell and rising tide were conspiring to try to thwart our launch attempt. Tunny, going first, got totally soaked at least once but punched through. I, second, had a narrow escape, being rescued by a rush of adrenalin and my SupaliteX as its nose rose to meet the challenge of a very high and steep face which, as usual, came out of nowhere. I was very relieved as we flopped down into the relatively quiet water behind as the wave broke with a roar immediately after my passage. Weeksie was cool.

The passage to Jew Shoal was quick as the small breeze was behind us and the sea pretty calm.

Snapper was my target species today, but I was in a bit of a quandary as flocks of terns, indicating possible pelagics (pedro had reported catching a spotty mac yesterday) could be seen gathering to the east. In any case my snapper plan was soon interrupted when weeksie radioed that he was hooked up (trolling a slimy mac). This hookup and subsequent Noosa sleigh ride took him close to where I was drift fishing and as he passed me I promised that I'd come over with the camera if he had anything decent on. Anything decent! Before long weeksie was letting me know that he had a whopper Spaniard up near the yak, so I fulfilled my promise and paddled over. It was a whopper alright. Weeksie had no real alternative but to lift the fish's head with the gaff and slide the fish straight into the hatch.

When I got there he spent some time manoeuvering the fish so that I could get a live on-water pic.

That white stuff around weeksie's nose is sweat froth or maybe sunscreen.

Barely had we got the job done than tunny came up on the Icom to say that he was hooked up, possibly to a longtail. He'd cast a slug (like a boy scout, he's always prepared) into a nearby tuna bust up and hooked up immediately. He was nearby so I paddled over to do the photo thing for him, too. After a decent tussle he discovered that he had a pretty big mac tuna on. The tuna was bleeding so heavily that he decided to take it for bait (this species is regarded as poor eating).

Tunny with the second fish of the morning.

With this sorted, I resolved to go back to my snapper fishing, even though occasional large splashes and baitfish showers indicated the presence of pelagic predators.

It took a while, but at last my SP was grabbed by a snapper. The third and smallest fish of the morning was mine.

It's worth remarking that this was the third or fourth snapper I've caught on this exact same SP, which is panel-beaten with superglue as necessary (but at home, not on the yak).

The wind was starting to get up, from the south, promising a likely slow slog home. Weeksie had his fish, so announced that he was heading in. I had my fish too and didn't want to miss the beach-goer response when weeksie dragged his monster out of the yak, so I decided to head in too. Tunny reckoned he'd hang on for another half hour to see if he could improve his score. I'd been paddling south for maybe five minutes when tunny came up on the Icom and let us know he'd bagged a snapper bigger than mine, caught on SP. I was not in a position to easily get an on-water photo of this fish, but tunny was also soon heading for Middle Groyne. See you on the beach, guys!

The presence of a few board riders close in at the western side of Middle Groyne is always an indicator of a potentially tricky beach return. Also an indicator is the spray flung skywards and high when big waves smashed into the groyne rocks. Both of these indicators were present.

OK, I took a bath, as did tunny. Both of us were run down by waves which were already carrying a board rider. My excuse is that I was distracted by the board rider as I thought we'd collide.

This wave became really steep in the next second, the bow nose-dived and the stern went sideways. No harm done, everything stowed. Video later, maybe.

Beach pics

141cm Spaniard. A PB for weeksie.

Loretta volunteered.

I wouldn't normally include a smeary image like this in the TR but this is the only pic I have of tunny's beautiful 72cm snapper. The combined catch.

Weeksie reckons his new yak now has mojo.

I wonder how the rest of the Easter weekend will go?

Thanks for reading and thanks to my companions today for coming along.

Kev Long
Author Kayak Fishing Manual for iPhone, iPad and Mac (click linked text to view)
Stealth Supalite X, yellow/orange
FREE iBook "Kayak Fishing Laguna Bay & Jew Shoal" for iPhone, iPad and Mac

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